When ExxonMobil shareholders overwhelmingly voted in late May in favor of a resolution aimed at shedding light on the impacts of addressing climate change on the oil company’s long-term assets, Dominican Sr. Patricia Daly was among those beaming brightest.
“This was very sweet,” said the director emeritus of the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment, which spans Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.
Through investment groups like the coalition, which comprises 40 Catholic institutions, and the larger Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, she and other faith-based investors have been working for two decades to bring about change at Exxon in how it recognizes and responds to climate change.
At the annual ExxonMobil meeting in Dallas May 31, the shareholder resolution, co-filed by the New York Common Retirement Fund and the Church of England and joined by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and 50 other institutions representing $5 trillion in managed assets, received 62.3 percent of the shareholders’ vote — the highest ever at Exxon for a climate-related measure.
The resolution, which Exxon opposed, seeks for the world’s largest energy company to produce an annual report of the long-term impacts on its oil and gas reserves from global climate policies aimed at restricting average temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and as low as 1.5 degrees C — the primary goal of the Paris Agreement on climate change, which calls for drastic cuts in carbon emissions and a global shift toward a zero-carbon economy in order to meet the 2 C target and avert the worst climate impacts.
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